On a windy, but sunny afternoon, we took our Vancouver children to the ferry and planned on a hike on the way back home. After consulting our local hiking guide, we chose to visit Butterfield Park. The guide says, "Your trip to the park takes you through a lovely pastoral landscape of rolling fields and hedgerows reminiscent of an English countryside."
Wild daisies lined the pathways and the woods were alive with birdsong, but otherwise very quiet. I didn't see any hedgerows, though.
After exiting the woods, we walked along a roadside path and down a lane to find St. Stephen's Anglican Church - believed to be B.C.'s oldest church in continual use on its 1862 site.
Surrounded by fields and set above the landscape that slopes gently to fields and the ocean beyond, it was a truly lovely find. We had no idea of its existence prior to reading about it in the guide. The door was open and we entered quietly, absorbing the peace of this place of worship. One stained glass window lit up the wall behind the altar. Plaques on the other walls commemorated soldiers lost in the wars that ravaged Europe in the 20th century.
The graveyard surrounding the church contains the graves of many whose names are now remembered as streets and parks in our city. The marker above had me doing some research when I arrived home. Ted Harrison was born in England and immigrated to Canada where he lived in the Yukon for many years before spending his last decades in Victoria. He is a well-known author and illustrator. One of his children's books is on our bookshelves.
Do you see the little sparrow in front of the white cross, perched on the peak of the roof over the entrance to the church? He is singing his heart out.
So many of the gravestones mentioned birthplaces far away - Cheshire, England, Scotland, South Africa, and more. These settlers left their homelands forever in search of a better life for themselves and their families. The graves date from the early years (1870s) to present day.
As we walked out of the churchyard, I glanced down at a stone and was surprised to recognize the names there - names of a couple with whom Tim collaborated on a charity project in Africa for several years. We knew they had passed, but didn't know that they were buried here in this peaceful spot.
A pair of stray poppies bloomed alongside a gate we passed on our return to the car. Are they not a bright and cheerful sight?
It was so interesting for us to learn more about our local history. This walk and the church are a place we will likely return to in the future.
Linking to Mosaic Monday, hosted by Angie of Letting Go of the Bay Leaf.